Mitch Marsh is making the most of his first Test match in four years bringing up a half-century to bring Australia back into contest on the opening day at Headingley.
Travis Head and Mitch Marsh combined for a 50 run partnership for Australia in the second session after Mark Wood set Headingley alight with a blistering spell on Thursday morning, to leave Australia reeling at Headingley.
Marsh signalled his power and intent in the second over after lunch when he pulled Chris Woakes over deep mid-wicket for six.
He was given a life shortly after when Joe Root dropped a simple chance at first slip when he was on 22.
Australia is 4/159 with Marsh (58*) Travis Head (24*) in the middle.
Earlier, Wood’s rapid opening spell roughed up the Australian top order as Australia fell to 4/91 at the lunch break.
Stuart Broad was again among the wicket takers on the opening morning, claiming the wicket of David Warner for the 16th time in Test cricket in the opening over of the day before removing Steve Smith in the second last over before Lunch to cap off a wonderful opening session for the hosts.
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David Warner was the first to depart, falling to arch nemesis Stuart Broad in the first over of the match for 4, with Zak Crawley swallowing the catch at slip.
And after exceeding 155km/h on the speed gun, Wood knocked over Usman Khawaja with an absolute beauty that swung back into the left-hander, with an inside edge crashing into leg stump.
Jonny Bairstow, who has been under fire with his wicketkeeping all series so far grassed two chances in the opening session, including a simple chance that would have netted the wicket of Travis Head when he played at a ball down the leg side.
He made amends the following over when he pouched an inside edge behind to get the big wicket of Steve Smith just prior to the big break for 22.
Earlier, Ben Stokes won the toss for England who elected to bowl first under sunny skies, with the hosts also making three changes to their shaken up XI. Express paceman Mark Wood and Chris Woakes will make their first appearances for this Ashes series while spinner Moeen Ali returns to the England side.
Vice-captain Ollie Pope, who injured his shoulder in both fielding innings has been ruled out of the series with a dislocated shoulder with 40-year-old seamer James Anderson and young quick Josh Tongue making way. Harry Brook has been promoted to bat at first drop while Jonny Bairstow has been promoted up to No. 5.
For Australia, Mitchell Marsh and Scott Boland were spotting marking their run-ups on Thursday morning, and were later confirmed in the starting XI at the toss as Australia made three changes.
The injury-prone Josh Hazlewood was expected to be rested for the Headingley Test after back-to-back appearances, while Cameron Green has been diagnosed with a low-grade hamstring strain that will force him out of the Leeds Test, paving the way for Mitchell Marsh to play his first Test since September 2019.
England players have claimed that the Lord’s furore has lit a fire under them — especially Jonny Bairstow, who was stumped by Alex Carey in one of the defining moments of the historic rivalry.
But England — which has already made two team changes — is also dealing with the reality that captain Ben Stokes might play a reduced role.
While he could still be a force with the bat at the site of his 2019 miracle innings, Stokes’ bowling duties could be kept light given the tight turnaround from the second Test, which ended Sunday.
“I’m not gonna lie that last week, sort of took it out of me a little bit,” Stokes told reporters on Wednesday.
“So a big part of something that I had to think of as what would be the best team if I wasn’t to bowl a ball this game, in the worst case scenario.
“Doesn’t mean I’m not going to bowl but that was a huge part of the thinking about the team that we picked.”
England has loaded its bowling options with all-rounders Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes coming in for injured batter Ollie Pope, and veteran seamer James Anderson.
England rest Anderson for Headingley | 01:03
Play in the third Test starts from 8pm (AEST).
According to the Met Office, it will be a cloudy day with only a 10 per cent chance of rain until 4pm local time, when it increases to a 50 per cent chance of a light shower.
England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes (c), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood
Australia XI: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Todd Murphy